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HOW TO PLAN A TRAINING CYCLE – EARLY SEASON
Suitable for long and triple jumpers and short sprinters
This is the transcript from the second Coach-Athlete member videos on my YouTube channel. Every month I produce a video exclusively for members. Video 4 has just gone live. So far we have covered:
Video 1: How to plan training
Video 2: How to plan a training phase - early season
Video 3; How to use your coach's eye to adapt training and get the most from your athletes
Video 4: How to seamlessly transition to a competition phase.
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Many fellow jumps coaches from around the world have signed up and are benefitting from the more directed and specific content.
In the first video in this series for Coach-Athlete channel members' "Training Planning Getting Started” we considered just that. I identified three key areas which I believe long and triple jump coaches especially should focus on – these being:
1: Developing Specific Physical Capacity 2:
Developing Optimum Technical Ability
3: Developing the Ability to express Specific Speed and Power
I also considered in brief my planning method – undulating periodisation and my “jigsaw of drills” approach to gluing a plan together.
In this follow-on video we now consider how you can plan a training unit at the beginning of the training year. The process will work for all levels of athletes – indeed I train younger athletes more or less the same as older ones in terms of the training framework that I use. I’ll say more about specific differences when it comes to training younger athletes (circa u14) in another video. And of course, I'll adapt some of the drills and the volume to younger athletes.
Talking you through my Training Plan
As you’ll have seen and heard in the video, I use my own plan as an example of how to plan long and triple jump training against the undulating periodisation model. By doing this I hope that you will be able to see how you can use this model or consider it. You may of course have your preferred planning model. Note undulating periodisation or block periodisation models can work for most power/technical events.
I begin by showing you what I include in the training plan i.e. the types of drills units that I incorporate. These range from basic drills, such as marching and lunges, to jump drills (take-off and penultimate step), to technique work and sprints, as well as strength and conditioning (weights and plyos).
Some practical considerations
You, like I, will need to construct your training plan and phases around: 1: What facilities are available 2: The training maturity of the athletes you coach 3: The time in the training year 4: How much time the athlete (and you as their coach) have
How I Plan: Planning a Session at the Beginning of the Training Year
I take the drills I use (and these are denoted on the left of my plan as shown in the video) and place them into units on the week to week part of the plan or more practically for the days when the athletes train. There are three main group sessions when I am normally present and one designed weights/conditioning day, which the athletes do on their own.
There may be an additional session but generally the athletes train four days a week in terms of major sessions.
Within a session there may be 4-6 drill units. And as I note the inflection of these as well as the intensity and volume is varied across the training year. This as I explain reflects the notion of always training specifically and within a very narrow bandwidth of being able to perform at a high level i.e. close to sprint PB’s. The idea is to build, for example, speed on speed on speed and not – as the case could be with linear periodisation, take steps back away from specific condition and therefore lose potential specific condition before regaining it. Ideally you want a constant specific adaptation – one that targets fast twitch muscle fibre and the motor units which switch them on and the technical progression and solidification against relevant conditioning and speed inputs.
You must consider the objectives of the training phase and the sessions when making your programme content inclusions.
I take you through specific sessions and you’ll see some of the drills that were performed. I also talk about how you can, using this method, develop basic background fitness for long and triple, for example, but in a specific way.
Planning a Week or short Training Phase at the Beginning of the Training Year
The graphic How to Plan a Training Phase hopefully makes the notion of undulating periodisation and how it works easier to grasp. The redline represents the undulation of desired peak performance and you can see how it ebbs and flows around an optimum performance baseline across the training year with the objective being that it increases peak performance more or less continuously.
We go through the other sessions that my group did on its first week back of training. I show you what I intend to do by placing specific drills into a specific day.
Rest Recovery and Regeneration
I also show you how you can include weights and plyos into a session with sprint drills also included (why not?), as we do on a typical Monday session. I explain that this could enable the athlete to have a rest day the following day and therefore maximise/optimise adaptation. Remember that it’s in the times when an athlete is not training when their body and neural system will adapt.
Also consider that work, study and life stress also affect an athlete’s training, training status and adaptation.
More on Combining Weights and Plyos into a Workout (with or without other units)
Many of the world’s top jumps’ coaches such as Nelio Moura (coach to both long jump gold medallists at the 2008 Olympics) complex their weights and plyometric training. This is seen to be advantageous in terms of potentiation and fast twitch motor unit recruitment and neural activation. More on this in a future video. As noted this is what I usually do.
A look at the Third Training Session in the First Week
This session is at a slightly lower level of intensity than the ones from the Saturday and Monday. Being mid-week working and studying athletes can be more fatigued in general. However, again I will consider some of the options for the session once it is taking place. Not all your athletes will have recovered the same and some will be having better or worse days. You as coach have to try and make judgement calls on the day as to how to apply the basics of your session to your athletes in real-time.
Overview of Session Content for a Typical Early Season Week
Unit 1: Jog to hills area (5-6min)
Unit 2: Basic drills balance
Unit 3: Basic drills fitness
Unit 4: Foot-strike and take-off drills
Unit 5: Various jumps and sprint drills options up bridge steps
Unit 6: 6x60m hill easy efforts – walk back recovery. Ran at whatever pace athlete wants to
Unit 1: Bar drills and runs 10-13 efforts, over 20m-30m
Unit 2: Weights and plyos contrast session – mixture of different muscular actions. 3 main exercises in weights room, e.g. eccentric split squats, step back lunge, isometric leg press
Unit 1: Barefoot drills and runs
Unit 2: Partial hops and bounds 8-10 combinations over 30m
Unit 3: Eccentric emphasis block jumps travelling forward 3x30m
Unit 4: Med ball work triple extension focus 2x8 reps each exercises (3 exercises)
Unit 5:8x60m easy runs with walk back recovery
Thursday Unit 1:
Resistance session concentric emphasis (3 main exercises e.g. squats, cleans) I hope these notes add some clarity to the video and if you have any queries do get back to me.
We all wanted 2020 to end and for 2021 to be a truly "new" New Year. The global pandemic has been a disaster for us all and it has tested our sanity, perseverance, purpose and faith. Track is just a very small part of what goes on in the world and yet, for those of us who are coaches, athletes, fans, judges and so on it's a lot more. Not being able to coach and train properly has been a perpetual test since March of last year for me in the UK, and it's going to continue well into 2021.
We're back to lock-down as of yesterday like the one as we had in March and this means only localised exercise with no sports facilities open at all (except for those on elite programmes - more of which later).
This is a necessity for our health now as the spread of COVID is highly dangerous. however, It means that I, like many coaches, will have to dig deep and summon up the energy to try to motivate our athletes to keep in shape and to train as best as they can.
Last time around I posted and created lockdown workouts which can be done at home or in parks and on the roads (if it safe to do so). You can check these out on the channel at:
I may well create a couple more this time around again too.
I've been able to coach relatively normally since the autumn - albeit with some changes in venues and the need to train outdoors, but we were getting there. Now, for many of the group (like many others everywhere else) that end destination has been changed. Well it's actually no longer in existence - and it's unlikely that normal training will resume for months. Plus, the excitement and drive of competing indoors has vanished. You can always sense that it's in the air at the time of the year. It's going to be a tough time.
As I said last time around athletes have to try to enjoy what training they can do and to not think too much about competing ... it's a case of ticking over and training for health and mental well-being as well as performance.
I'll be trying to keep my guys on that path.
However, I do have three athletes who are deemed to be elite and they can still train if facilities are willing to remain open. So, I'll be coaching "normally" a couple of times a week. I'll also do some 121 sessions with them where allowed in outdoor spaces too. You'll see a pic of Jahisha below working out in a local park.
There's a lot you can still do and hopefully we will all do what we can within the realms of what our country's regulations are.
Perhaps now, instead of seeing training sessions as a means to a PB, see them now as part of your well-being, as a way to feel better about what's going on, as something that you have relative control over, and as something to do that will make you feel better after having trained.
Find that different motivation. And make sure to look out for your fellow athletes and coaches and all in the track family and beyond. Stay-safe everyone.